The Holy Trinity of Finances

How managing your finances is about more than being practical, it’s also about understanding and acknowledging the emotional and spiritual side of money … the “financial trinity” if you will.

By: Tim Schuster

Tim Schuster is a New Business Development Associate at brightpeak financial and Founder of MIDTOWN, a missional faith community in south Minneapolis.

brightpeak financial exists to help young Christians grow stronger financially so that they may live with confidence and generosity. It is a new division of Thrivent Financial, a faith-based, not-for-profit founded more than a century ago. Everything brightpeak does is aimed at helping families and communities thrive and become more resilient.

Money Is Practical
There is a rational and logical side to money. Money comes in. Money goes out. It adds up. Or it doesn’t. Whoever you are and whatever you do, your money comes down to simple dollars and cents on a piece of paper or computer screen. The main tool of the practical dimension of finances is a calculator. The upside of this dimension is that we can explain money clearly and concisely. The downside is that this represents only a one-dimensional view of finances. Read More

Forgiveness – Part 2: Seeking and Granting

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Whether you’ve been together for 5 years or 50, at some point in your relationship you will be faced with a situation that requires you to either seek or grant forgiveness. When we think of conscious forgiveness, we often associate it with a major betrayal such as infidelity or abuse. However, as Laura wrote about in the previous post, there are minor, every day lapses in thoughtfulness or judgement that require us to forgive our partner, albeit perhaps on a more subconscious level. Read More

Forgiveness – Part 1: Recognizing Forgiveness

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I recently interviewed six couples who had each been married for over 25 years. As I sat down with each partner, we began talking about their marriage. During our conversation we discussed the impact of their or their spouse’s retirement on their marriage, their level of satisfaction in marriage, and the presence of forgiveness in their marriage throughout the years.   At the end of my first interview, a woman who had been married for 57 years was walking me to the front door. She stopped me to tell me that she was still thinking over the idea of forgiveness in her marriage, some 45 minutes after our interview ended. At that moment, I knew the question about forgiveness would become the most thought-provoking question I would ask in each interview. Read More

Balancing “I” and “We” – Part 2

In the last post we talked about the importance of maintaining your own sense of identity and independence within your relationship and gave some tips for doing so. This post takes a look at the other side of this dynamic — when there is too much “I” and not enough “We.”

hands-437968_640When maintaining a sense of closeness is not a priority, intimacy atrophies. It can happen gradually. One day you wake up and suddenly realize you just feel so… far away… from your partner. How did that happen? And how do you get back that sense of “we”?

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Improving Your Marriage in 15 Minutes a Day

Guest Contributor: Marriage in a Box
(Destiny Girard, LMFT,  Maria Sappe, LMFT, & Brad Whiteman)

The Marriage In A Box system was designed by a licensed marriage and family therapist to be used in conjunction with couple’s therapy or in the privacy of the couple’s home. It is a unique and practical approach for working through the most common issues encountered in relationships. Together, couples can examine issues, set goals, track progress, and reinforce their successes – resulting in an improved relationship. Partners can customize a plan suited for their individual needs, with a variety of supportive tools and practices to address a range of concerns.

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Whoever said that marriage is easy and does not require work, must have never been married or in a committed relationship! All relationships, no matter how wonderful and fulfilling they are, require work from both partners on a regular basis. Making a relationship work, however, does not require extensive amounts of time and will look different for all couples.

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May is Date Your Mate Month!

Did you know that May is National Date your Mate Month? calendar_date

Use this as an opportunity (or an excuse) to step up your dating game. Continuing (and remembering) to date each other is a fun way to stay connected to your partner when you have so many other responsibilities and commitments (children, careers, housework, bills, to name a few). It does require making an effort. You’ll likely need to plan ahead, but hopefully by booking the sitter and marking the date on your calendar you’ll consider yourselves “locked in” to spending this valuable time together.

Hold up! Read More

Arrows of Appreciation

When there is tension or conflict in a relationship, we are encouraged to speak using “I” statements—“I get worried when I don’t know you’re working late,” or “I wish we could make more of an effort to spend quality time alone.” “I” statements attribute responsibility to the speaker for his/her own perceptions and feelings.

“You” statements, such as, “You never let me know when you’re going to be home late,” or “You spend too much time with your friends,” can put the listener on the defensive from the start. In a way, a “you” statement is like shooting an arrow right at your partner. If it precedes negative, accusatory, or blaming words, they are going to feel the sting and likely react in just as prickly a manner. arrow Read More

Are you a (Personality) Backseat Driver?

backseat-driverDo you like your partner’s personality? That might sound like a ridiculous question to some people. “Of course I do!
Why would I be with him/her if I didn’t?” Please note that this is not the same as “do you love your partner?” You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that many people spend a lot of time trying to change aspects of his/her partner’s personality or secretly hope that one day their “annoying” traits will magically cease. Read More

Fighting Fair

Conflict in relationships is inevitable. You can try to avoid it by tamping down negative emotions and brushing seemingly minor issues under the rug, boxing_gloves_fighting_fairbut at some point, they will come back to bite you. Many times this is in the form of a blowup that is completely disproportional to whatever seemed to trigger it. You end up fighting not only about the topic at hand but ten other previously unaddressed issues as well.

As uncomfortable as it can be, the best way to avoid this situation and grow as a couple is to deal with issues as they occur. Studies have shown that it is not whether a couple fights that predicts divorce, but how they fight. Read More